14 Hugh Carter concluded that he may have been misunderstood He requested a

14 hugh carter concluded that he may have been

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14 Hugh Carter concluded that he may have been misunderstood. He requested a meeting but did not get one at the time. The jury must have concluded that he had not provided the opinion his client wanted to hear. 15 The statement of claim was issued on May 27, 1994. On June 7, 1994, after a further site investigation, Carter did meet with Donald Crabbe and after the meeting, he reclassified the fire as "suspicious, possibly incendiary". Pilot now concedes that Crabbe likely influenced Carter to change his opinion. 16 In its factum before this Court, Pilot also conceded that in addition to the Senior Claims Examiner and the Branch Manager, the latter's "superior, George Hamilton (assistant to the Vice-President in charge of claims), [was] copied with all of the material on the file. Mr. Hamilton reported to Clifford Jones, Executive Vice President and Secretary" (para. 17). The misconduct was therefore not restricted to middle level management but was made known to the directing minds of the respondent company. [page609] 17 The attitude of the respondent and its counsel is apparent from Crabbe's reporting letter dated June 9, 1994 to Pilot's Chris Porter and Steven Carter (Pilot's Branch Manager), parts of which read as follows: The bottom line is that we have moved considerably with the upcoming engineer's report towards successfully denying this claim. We still need more evidence, but we moved significantly in the right direction on June 7th. 18 It appears that all three people directing the respondent's behaviour were agreed that the "right direction" was to deny the claim despite the lack of any evidence that the fire had been deliberately set. Crabbe continued: In terms of the [appellant's] punitive damage claim arising from bad faith, this is a cloud with a silver lining. First of all, it gives Hugh Carter a platform from which to discuss the evolution of his opinion... . More importantly in this concept of "silver lining" is that the claim renders admissible evidence as to the previous fires in which the Whitens were involved, when otherwise there was a considerable risk that the "similar fact" evidence would not be admitted as a significant enough pattern had perhaps not been established. 19 The reference to the two "previous fires" was firstly to a fire that occurred in a cottage owned by the Whitens' son-in-law but rented out to a Mrs. Titro and secondly to another fire in another house previously occupied by Mrs. Titro. There was no apparent connection to the appellant or her family. At the Court of Appeal, Pilot conceded that evidence about these two fires was irrelevant and inadmissible. The reporting letter of June 9th continues: You [Pilot] raise concerns that the other side has hired competent counsel and, frankly, I would not have it any other way and indeed it would be foolish to make any assumptions otherwise.
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Page 10 of 44 Whiten v. Pilot Insurance Co., [2002] 1 S.C.R. 595 [page610] The jury must have asked itself why an insurer dealing in good faith with a policy holder would express "concern" to its own lawyer that she had hired competent counsel. Crabbe continued:
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